Parents are cutting corners when it comes to infant child seats, study finds

A survey of 2,000 mothers and fathers revealed some shocking statistics about the use – or lack of use – of infant child seats. It found that 34 per cent of those surveyed admitted to allowing their children to travel without a suitable restraint – an offence that can carry a fine of up to £500.

Worryingly, as many as 37 per cent of parents have driven with somebody else's child in an unsuitable car seat – while 10 per cent admitted they have travelled or would travel a short distance with no child seat at all.

SEE ALSO: Thousands of parents risking £500 fine by not buckling up their children correctly

In a practice many thought lay in the past, 16 per cent of those quizzed revealed that their children had travelled while sat in the boot, and more than 20 per cent have used a cushion rather than a proper support.

Jon Sumroy, inventor of portable child restraint Mifold, gave some clarification on the rules. "A car seat belt chest strap must lie on the clavicle or collar bone, over the edge of the shoulder and the lap belt should rest on the bones of the hips.

"When a child is too small for a seat belt, as is the case before they are 135cm, it can cut into their face and neck and ride up onto their soft stomach – this is incredibly dangerous in the event of a collision."

The research also found that a quarter of parents aren't aware of the risks of fitting small children into standard sized seatbelts.

A spokesperson for road safety charity, Brake, said: "Child safety is paramount and too many children are being affected by road crashes, devastating families and ruining lives.

"Parents need to take responsibility for keeping their children safe, whether in their own car or in vehicles driven by other family members or childcare providers, by using appropriate restraints at all times."

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